As public institutions entrusted with significant amounts of public funds, Town Councils should have good governance and management controls in place to remain transparent and accountable to their residents.
To guide the Town Councils in better executing their fiduciary responsibilities and improving accountability, MND has developed a Code of Governance for Town Councils (“Code”). The Code complements the existing legislative framework by setting out principles of good governance and highlighting best practices which Town Councils are encouraged to adopt, through a comply-or-explain regime.
The Code was developed with the support of Ernst & Young Advisory Pte Ltd. In developing the Code, MND appointed and consulted an Advisory Panel, comprising experienced academics, governance experts and industry practitioners, for their expert views and perspectives. MND also consulted the Town Councils and the public to seek their feedback on the Code.
The objectives of the Code are to:
a) Enhance the effectiveness of Town Councils by sharing recommended governance practices;
b) Provide guidance to the Town Councillors to help them carry out their fiduciary duties; and
c) Improve the transparency of Town Councils’ operations to build public trust and confidence.
The Code is based on five guiding principles, namely integrity, objectivity, accountability, fairness and transparency. These guiding principles underpin the provisions in the Code, which span four domains: (a) Council Effectiveness, (b) Internal Controls & Processes, (c) Financial Management and (d) Vendor Management. Please refer to the Code of Governance for Town Councils (2019) for more details.
Town Councils are expected to publicly disclose their compliance to the Code using the Governance Disclosure Checklist from FY2020 onwards.